at the University of San Francisco

The Fromm Institute For Lifelong Learning

Spring 2017

“WHAT YOU’VE WANTED, WHEN you WANT IT”

Here’s the Frommcast On‐Line
Spring Session Curriculum
(April 1 to June 15) Check It Out! Enroll Now!!!

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VIDEO COURSES

FLORENCE:  WITH AND WITHOUT THE MEDICI

PROF. SUNNIE EVERS

Everyone goes to Florence – drinks chianti, devours pasta, and walks the cobblestones of medieval streets and lengthy corridors crowded with ancient, medieval and renaissance art. Fifteenth-century Florence was an exciting place to be. In 1425 Florence had a population of 60,000 and was a self-governed, independent city-state. What happened to transform a sleepy medieval city into a thriving hotbed of innovation?  What inspired Florentines to produce a profusion of brilliant ideas and great art, that include Brunelleschi’s dome, Botticelli’s Primavera, Leonardo’s Adoration, Michelangelo’s David and Vasari’s decoration of the monumental Salone dei Cinquecento.   Florentines believed themselves to be living in a new age, “reborn” into an era of brilliance not seen since antiquity.  Recently, a Harvard Business Review article claimed that “Renaissance Florence was a better model for innovation than Silicon Valley!”  Innovation and talent need patrons and the Medici were extraordinary spotters of talent and patrons of creative genius, and they inspired others to follow suit.  This course will take you inside the heart of Florence from its Roman foundation in the 1st century BCE to its transformation into Medici ducal court in the 16th century.

THE LAST GOOD WAR:  REFIGHTING WORLD WAR II

PROF.  CLAY LARGE

This course will reexamine the history and legacy of the Atlantic Theater in World War II by focusing on seminal episodes, including the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of Stalingrad, the murder of French Resistance leader Jean Moulin, the D-Day invasion, the botched Hitler assassination, and the Malmedy Massacre during the Battle of the Bulge.  These iconic moments not only helped shape the war’s course but lived on in the postwar period as bones of further contention and acrimony among the erstwhile belligerents.  Armed with the latest historical research and the advantage of hindsight, we’ll follow this trail of disputation from the wartime battlefields through the Cold War and beyond, gaining in the process a better understanding of the war and some new perspectives on the politics of our own era.  William Faulkner observed that the “past is never dead; it is not even past.”  So it is with “The Last Good War.”

  • HOLIDAYS

    Thurs., May. 18, 2017

    Mon., May 29, 2017

  • CALENDAR

    Fall 2016

    Class Begin 09/12/2016

    Class End 11/03/2016

    Make-up Week 11/07 - 10

     

    Winter 2017

    Class Begin 01/09/2017

    Class End 03/02/2017

    Make-up Week 03/06 - 09

     

    Spring 2017

    Class Begin 04/10/2017

    Class End 06/02/2017

    Make-up Week 06/05 - 08

  • HOURS

    Classes meet at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday - Thursday. Extra Curricular activities run from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. The Fromm Institute office is open, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • SPRING CLOSED CLASSES

    MONDAY:

    BUXTON "The Count, The Duke and the King"

     

    TUESDAY:

    LEVY "AI in the World"

     

    MAIER "Investment Atlernatives"

     

    JONAS "From Truman

    to Trump"

     

    WEDNESDAY:

     

     

    THURSDAY:

    MACKENZIE "Reminiscence-

    Creative Writing Workshop"

     

     

THE EARLY ROMANTICS

PROF. FOGLESONG

Presented Under the Auspices of the Barbara Fromm Chair in Classical Music

The first half of the nineteenth century saw a generation of composers who were celebrated not only in their own time but still continue to be beloved today. Consider their names: Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Fredéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz. They join with the efflorescence of wonderful opera composers such as Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini—and early Verdi. Some of the less-remembered figures such as Weber, Spohr, Moscheles, and Meyerbeer round out what should be a delightful romp through a dearly-loved and justly valued era of music.

FROM ROMULUS TO THE END OF THE WORLD:

A HISTORY OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC AND ROMAN EMPIRE

Prof. Nikolaus Hohmann

An Empire before there was an Emperor, and an Emperor who led a Republic — the history of ancient Rome is filled with surprising developments and astonishing people who created one of the most successful states and one of the most influential cultures in World History.  The Roman world became a major foundation for the nations of Western Civilization and inspired emulation by countless leaders across the centuries, including the men and women who created the American Republic.  In a rollicking ride across 1,000 years from Romulus to Ruin, we will meet some of the most famous personalities in history and be entertained by their heroics, their antics, by their thought-provoking words and their remarkable achievements.

The Roberts Court and the First Amendment
Prof.  William Turner

The year 2015 was the 10th anniversary of John Roberts’ appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The decade saw several remarkable, momentous, free speech decisions. Citizens United was the most notorious, but also the most misunderstood decision of all time. The Court decided more First Amendment cases than any previous court, and Chief Justice Roberts personally authored many of them. The Roberts Court confronted free speech issues involving national security, funeral protests, violent video games, “indecency” on television, the rights of high school students, abortion buffer zones, a “constitutional right to lie” about military service, and confederate flags on license plates.  The course begins with the composition, personnel and practices of the Roberts Court, and then discusses the Court’s most important free speech decisions. We’ll assess how the Court has advanced/diminished free speech values, and consider what effect the absence of Justice Scalia will have on its approach to the First Amendment.

Puccini Please: The Life, Times, And Music of the World’s Favorite Opera Composer

Prof.  Clifford “kip” Cranna

PRESENTED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE VICTOR MARCUS CHAIR IN OPERA STUDIES

Opera fans love Giacomo Puccini. The last of the great Italian opera composers, he never fails to thrill us with his soaring melodies or to move us with his pathos. But let’s a take a closer look at Puccini’s world and discover what lies behind the music, as we watch Puccini evolve from a composer in the grand tradition of Italian opera into a ground-breaking exponent of supercharged post-Romantic “verismo.”  We’ll search for the real people and true stories behind his operas, and uncover fascinating details about Puccini’s, often tumultuous, career. We’ll investigate his life and art in their historical context and use video examples to examine in detail his emotionally stirring music dramas. No previous opera background required.  Just watch, listen, and enjoy.

URGENT ISSUES, EVERYDAY POLITICS: DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL POLICY ISSUES IN THE MIDST OF NATIONAL ELECTIONS

PROF. DAVID PERITZ

As we lurch toward another national election, there is a deficit of serious political discourse despite a surfeit of issues. Internationally, the Islamic State’s pivot toward the ‘far enemy’, the on-going bloodletting in Syria, an increasingly assertive China and Russia, the failure of the Arab awakening, and the inexorable advance of global climate change — all speak to dangerous times and America’s weakened capacity to influence world affairs. Domestically, partisan polarization makes it difficult for the nation to coalesce around even the most urgent political issues. Can the national elections focus political attention on these serious issues, perhaps even generating the will to address them, or will our politics fall short of the urgency of the moment? This course will examine the policy issues at stake and survey potential solutions — always considering their political viability.

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1789-2016

PROF. CHRIS O’SULLIVAN

This course will take us on an entertaining journey through the history of American presidential elections, from the unopposed selection of George Washington in 1789, to the tumultuous election of 2016. Of the nearly sixty presidential elections since Washington’s, all are compelling, yet several stand out for their drama and consequences. Bringing the spectacle of these contests to life, exploring the personalities, strategies, and historical consequences, this course reveals that presidential campaigns have always been tenaciously contested and often nasty, yet they reveal much about our history and ourselves.

HISTORY OF ISLAM, PART ONE — origins & zenith

PROF. NIKOLAUS HOHMANN

In this first part of two, we will look at the ancient city of Mecca and the timeless world of Arabia.  Other topics will include: Mohammed, the new prophet of old teachings; the Successors — conquest, schism, and conversion; the marvels of the Caliphate as a Muslim world empire at its zenith; the wars of brothers and the collapse of the Caliphate; the Old Man of the Mountain and the Assassins and, Moghul India and new traumas for the Hindu world. Throughout this study our primary focus will be on understanding the Islam of today.

 

History oF islam, Part tWo — islam in thE modErn World

In this second part of two we’ll look at The Ottoman Empire (the 2nd Caliphate) and its disintegration — the birth of modern crises.  Our case studies will be:  Iran (the Shah and the Ayatollahs);  Iraq (Saddam Hussein, the Gulf Wars, the aftermath);  Syria and the new Islamic state (ISL) movement; Saudi Arabia and Yemen and lastly Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinians.

JErusalEm:  history, rEligion, Politics

ProF. John rothmann

This course will give a comprehensive historical overview, a religious view from Islamic, Christian and Jewish perspectives and finally a full political evaluation from all points of view! Is there a solution? We will try to answer that question at the end of the class.

Brahms

ProF. scott FoglEsong

Presented Under the Auspices of the Barbara Fromm Chair in Classical Music

Johannes Brahms, the great classicist of the later 19th century, created an imposing body of work that covers every genre of his era except for opera. Whether symphonies, concertos, orchestral works, chamber works, sonatas, solo pieces, art songs, or choral works, Brahms bequeathed precious gifts to posterity. We’ll find out about him, his career, his world, his friends, his colleagues.  Most importantly, we’ll explore his music in all its variety, depth, and radiance.

thE British musE

ProF. scott FoglEsong

Presented Under the Auspices of the Barbara Fromm Chair in Classical Music

The land without music, it was called. But it wasn’t true. England was, and is, abundantly gifted with music and with fine composers—as are Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the rest of the Commonwealth. We’ll start with Elizabethans such as Tallis and Byrd, exult in Henry Purcell’s glorious (but sadly brief) career, visit England’s cherished adopted son Handel, then explore the 19th century musical Renaissance with Parry, Stanford, and Elgar. From there it’s on to the 20th century with Vaughan Williams, Britten, Walton, Bax, and others who stood as rare sentinels of sanity amidst a century of musical chaos.

ARCHEOLOGY & THE BIBLE

ProF. Patrick Hunt

Archaeology is the study of the past based on what survives from material culture. As is, the discipline as variously practiced will always be based on fragmentary knowledge from finds and not necessarily in agreement with ancient texts, especially those considered by some as scripture. How closely do traditions, text and material history match or not? Often considered mythological, here we examine the possible contexts for Moses and literary events like the Exodus as well as David, Solomon, Ahab, Hezekiah and sites of ancient Israel like Jerusalem, Beer Sheba and Megiddo that archaeology continues to reveal along with contemporary cultures like ancient Egypt, Assyria and Babylon, acknowledging different points of view ranging from minimalism to maximalism.

alta caliFornia: thE lost history oF a BygonE ProvincE

ProF. chris o’sullivan

California’s history is undergoing constant reconsideration, as fresh discoveries and innovative research reveal new perspectives on the past and challenge old assumptions. This course will explore the saga of California history from its distinctive geography and the rich diversity of Indian life, to the discovery of gold in 1848. Special attention will be given to the California Indians; Spanish, English, and Russian exploration; the Spanish and Mexican eras; American interest in California; the legendary Bear Flag Revolt; the Mexican-American War in California; and the beginnings of the Gold Rush era.

AUDIO COURSES

DIFFICULT DILEMMAS: SOCIAL/POLITICAL PROBLEMS  THAT CHALLENGE OUR LEGAL SYSTEM

PROF. CURTIS CATON

This course will explore a series of contemporary topics that pose stark policy choices involving legal, moral and financial complications for our society. The challenging subjects will include: poverty, homelessness and the civil legal representation of the poor; immigration, asylum and social welfare; terrorism and due process; ethical constraints for judges and lawyers; business economics vs. environmental sensitivity; drugs, prisons and the purposes of punishment; health care and the limits of congressional power; and weapons of limited destruction.

ROMANCE & GRANDUEROF RUSSIAN OPERA

PROF. JAMES KEOLKER

Presented Under the Victor Marcus Chair in Opera Studies

There is a sonic splendor in Russian opera like no other, so we will explore the epic sounds of Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” and Borodin’s “Prince Igor,” examine the opulent orchestration of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Czar Saltan,” “Sadko” and “Coq d’Or,” thrill to the romantic melodies of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” and “The Queen of Spades,” laugh at the brilliant characterizations of Shostakovich’s “Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk,” and consider the profundity of Prokofiev’s “War and Peace.”

Those new to opera as well as those more experienced are most welcome.

BEYOND THE BORGIAS

PROF. ALBERT JONSEN

The Borgia name has become synonymous with the debased standards of the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church at the conclusion of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. While the arts and education flourished under the reign of Alexander VI, so did the abuses of power and corruption of religious authority. Against an evolving backdrop of ecclesiastical graft and clerical indulgence emerged the movement we call the Reformation and the creation of new national Protestant churches. This course will look beyond the time of this Italian papacy and examine the dissolution of Christian unity in Europe. It will review the Protestant movement and the reforms to the Catholic Church that these turbulent times evoked.

BEtWEEn tWo FirEs: EuroPEan Politics, culturE & sociEty in thE 20s and 30s

ProF. david clay largE

In the decades following World War I, Europeans, along with the rest of the world, desperately hoped for a prolonged peace, economic recovery, and social healing. Instead they got the rise of murderous dictatorships, social strife, and the most catastrophic economic meltdown the modern world had ever seen.  Yet at the same time there were brief moments of economic promise, as well as sustained technological progress and tremendous cultural achievement.  This course offers a comprehensive re-examination, based on the latest research, of the tumultuous years separating the two world wars.  To better illuminate the European situation, the lectures will include occasional comparative glances at developments elsewhere, especially in the USA.

Famous trials & trial lawyers

PROF. CURTIS CATON

High drama and enduring social lessons emerge from many cases that don’t always become the subject of Supreme Court opinions.  We’ll focus on the trial process and its players — judge, jury, litigants and their counsel — against the historical backdrop of contentious issues like the “Red Scare” (Sacco/Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs); race (O.J. Simpson); and the defenses of insanity and diminished capacity (Leopold/Loeb and Dan White, the killer of Moscone and Milk).  Memorable “test cases” will also be examined: the Scopes Monkey Trial (religious fundamentalism vs. evolution) and the recent challenge to Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage in California.  And we’ll highlight the talents of trial lawyers, some long forgotten and others as legendary as Abraham Lincoln.

DONIZETTI’S DAZZLING OPERAS

PROF. JAMES KEOLKER

Presented Under the Victor Marcus Chair in Opera Studies

While born into the darkest poverty, Donizetti rose to become one of the most prolific and imaginative composers of the golden age of Italian opera.  We will explore his most dazzling and melodic operas, among them “Anna Bolena,” “Lucrezia Borgia,” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” as well as his tune-filled comedies, “The Elixir of Love,” “Daughter of the Regiment,” and “Don Pasquale.”  In addition, we will discuss his rarely heard but sensational “Imelda d’Lambertazzi,” “The Siege of Calais,” “Poliuto,” “Maria Padilla,” “Linda di Chamounix,” “La Favorite, Rosmonda d’Inghilterra” and “Dôm Sébastien.”  This class is designed for those new to opera as well as those more experienced.

FROMM INSTITUTE DOCUMENTARY FILM

This is a story about a dream university for the retired, founded by two people — a man who told his wife he never wanted to retire and the wife who carried his dream school forward and made it work — Alfred and Hanna Fromm.  “Old Enough to Know Better” tells the real story of seven “older people” who are students or teachers in the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at USF; the school one of them calls a “school for the sages.” Here there are no exams, no grades, and no graduation.  These people who could relax in their retirement, go back to college because it brings them back to life.  And in their “second lives” they seize the chance to learn about subjects they always wanted to pursue.  They do it for pure pleasure, for the joy of it. And they do it to take control of their aging.  This film appeals to all people searching for meaning in their later years and encourages a younger generation to pursue lifelong learning as a way of “saging” not just aging. As society prepares for a growing, graying population, “Old Enough To Know Better” presents an inspiring and positive way for older people to live again and participate in the 21st century.

OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER

DIRECTED BY RON LEVACO

Video COMMENTARY

Hamilton, The Musical

PROF. JONATHAN BAILEY

The New York Times has noted “It’s one of the most talked about Broadway shows since “The Book of Mormon.”  Why? It’s a theatrical rarity: a critically acclaimed work, written by a young composer. That it’s told through the language and rhythms of hip-hop and R&B — genres that remain mostly foreign to the musical theater tradition — has put it in contention to redefine what an American musical can look and sound like.” Tune in to a favorite Fromm Institute faculty member who’ll ask (and answer) the question “What’s all the fuss about “Hamilton?”

Alexander Hamilton, The Man, Myth and Legend
PROF. CHRISTOPHER O'SULLIVAN

While the Washington Monument commemorates the man Alexander Hamilton so loyally served, and the Jefferson Memorial honors the man he so vigorously opposed, there are no grandiose monuments to Hamilton on the National Mall, or elsewhere. Instead, he graces the ten-dollar bill, perhaps appropriately, as Hamilton’s true monument was the financial system he created. Professor Chris O’Sullivan will lead us on a journey deep into the life and legacy of this least understood of the Founding Fathers, exploring why Hamilton provoked so much controversy, and how his historical reputation has fluctuated so wildly since his tragic death, in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, in 1804.

The Obama Years: History & Hope

Prof. John Rothmann

The dramatic years of the Obama presidency are about to conclude.  This lecture examines the ups and downs of his time in office.  In the last eight years, President Obama has had a tremendous impact on America and the world.  Prof. Rothmann will describe his major triumphs and the failures, both at home and abroad.  How will Obama be judged by history?  How has his presidency affected our lives?  If Obama had been able to run for re-election would he have won?  All of these questions will be explored as we examine the two terms of our 44th President.

READING SHAKESPEARE: DIFFICULTIES AND DELIGHTS

PROF. MANFRED WOLF

This fifty-minute lecture aims to explain what difficulties beginning readers of Shakespeare confront, how they can be overcome, and what pleasures await them. Shakespeare’s style can pose a particular problem for beginning readers, but once some features of this style are clear, newcomers to his work will learn to see how its many facets provide many pleasures. Language, style, and some remarks about Shakespeare’s theatre and his time seek to round out a picture of the man and, hopefully, give glimpses of his greatness.

THE OPTICS OF DESTRUCTION

PROF. RODGER BIRT

In this presentation we’ll investigate the relationship between a group of photographs, made in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and selected Renaissance depictions of Roman ruins in Italy. Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) took the photographs, and various artists made the prints. How the examination of images of ruins helps to explicate certain aspects of human history is the unifying theme of the presentation. All visual materials are from the permanent collection in the Achenbach Foundation at the Palace of Legion of Honor, San Francisco.

FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK: POWER, STYLE, MYSTERY & BONDAGE

PROF. WILLIAM EDDELMAN

The color black was there at the very beginning. For thousands of years black has been associated with certain aspects of clothing. It is very ubiquitous: powerful, humbling, “self-negating”, erotic, elegant, luxurious and destructive. Often associated with evil, sin, the devil and mourning; it has also stood for positive meanings: temperance, humility and asceticism. So it can be both pious and perverse, sacred and profane. The lecture explores black in relation to certain moments of historical fashion and the various ways that black is expressed today. How does it relate to the body? What does it expose, reveal or cover? What black fabrics are used? What are the social and symbolic references that are expressed? A question: Are you ready to clothe yourself in black and if so, why?

FILM COMMENTARY

FROMM ON FILM

PROF. JAN WAHL

These short (15 minute) takes on cinema from the Bay Area’s hatted Hollywood historian and critic — and Fromm Institute ‘star’ professor — encompass eight topics in a way that are both effervescent and evocative.   Explore “The Best” and “The Worst”of 2016.  Watch as Jan Wahl guides you to “Stars Who Should Have Won An Oscar” “Great Movie Locations,”  “Music in the Movies,” “Real to Reel,” “Movie Laughter,”  “Sports on Film” and “Politics on the Big Screen.”   Enjoy her views and revisit some classic (and not so classic) moments from the silver screen.

The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning - University of San Francisco

2130 Fulton St - San Francisco, CA 94117-1080